R&B artist R. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years for sex trafficking and racketeering.
R. Kelly began his career three decades ago when he was signed to a major record label. According to reports, around the time he kickstarted his music career, he engaged in sexual activity with a teenage girl.
Over time, R. Kelly faced multiple accusations to do with the abuse of underage girls, and more. However, his growing career protected him for far too long.
The 55-year-old faced the judge this week to finally hear his fate concerning the crimes he went on trial for.
The federal trial occurred in Brooklyn, where U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly presided. Judge Donnelly expressed that R. Kelly created a “system … that lured young people into [his] orbit” and essentially gained control of the victims’ lives. (New York Times)
The artist, known for his hit songs “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix),” was prepared for prison time, according to his attorney Jennifer Bonjean. Even so, she expressed that he had regrets and was overall in a state of sadness.
One of his victims stated that she may never be whole again. She expressed that R. Kelly “left a permanent stain” on her life that she “will never be able to wash away.” (New York Times)
The R&B musician’s attorney described R. Kelly’s childhood as one that faced many challenges. According to Bonjean, R. Kelly was repeatedly molested starting at the age of six. (New York Times)
45 witnesses, including 11 victims, appeared in this trial, along with multiple audio and video evidence.
Two men claimed that they were, too, abused sexually by R. Kelly.
R. Kelly’s attorney plans to appeal the court’s decision. For now, R. Kelly is found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering and will serve 30 years in federal prison.